Why is the latest Honda NSX such an interesting car?
I'm glad you asked, let me tell you.
Angular. Squat. Aggressive. From every angle.. even the rear end when peering through to that eng- wait is that a V6? and three and a half litres of displacement?
I was a bit surprised when I first found out as well. But the way I found out was a little more brutal. It all started way back in yesteryear, when I was a lowly service advisor working at a Honda dealer.
That morning the trucks arrived with not one, but two of these majestic machines. I'd heard about the fabled return of the NSX, but had no specs of which to reference anything from at the time. So this was a bit like unwrapping that big, main birthday present. Except that it wasn't for my birthday. Some other lucky soul got to seize it from my grubby hands. I was just the peasant unwrapping it.
As my colleague fumbled around in the container getting into this thing I couldn't help but wonder. What heart could possibly lurk within it? a V10, V12 perhaps? As if. It's still a Honda, so let's calm down a bit.
The engine surged into life before the mighty ass end emerged from the edge of the trailer. My ears were almost offended. I'm hearing what sounds like six pistons. Suddenly I was met with a flashback of being 6 years old and meeting my hero Batman, only to squint a little harder and realise it was just some fat guy in a suit. Deja vu.
Or was it?
I was given some spec paperwork which I keenly flicked through with the eagerness of Richard Hammond in a Go Outdoors camping center. To my surprise I discovered many interesting technological things. All of which were lost on me, because I am a simpleton. I did however clock one little thing.
It was a Hybrid.
Quickly putting two and two together, I came up with seven. ''It's basically a Mclaren P1!'' I exclaimed in my head. Well yeah, not really. But it does draw upon the same concept, if not a little watered down here.
Powered by a 3.5 litre petrol V6 and supplemented with three electric motors making up to 500 horsepower and covering the 60 sprint in about 3.3 seconds. That erm.. that doesn't seem all that impressive to me. 500 horsepower from a car sporting this level of technological marvel feels a bit.. over-engineered. Que fart noise.
You could spend about fifty grand more and get yourself a Ferrari 458 or something if you want a track monster/poser pleaser around the 500-pony mark. And chances are whatever you'd pick would be a bit quicker.
BUT, this is one of those cars you don't really purchase for the wooosh factor. You buy it for the heritage. The very lore of motoring and the appreciation for technological development.
This is one of those cars Chris Evans can stand and admire in his garage, probably behind a glass wall as he sips wine with his guests and discusses the intricacies of motorsport and how far we've come as a species propelling ourselves forward - both figuratively and literally.
It's a beautifully crafted centerpiece, if you will.
Just like the cars from the Holy Trinity - the La Ferrari, the 918 and the P1 then, the NSX is yet another man standing up in the crowd shouting ''I will not let the supercar die.'' in the face of the rabid, car-hating masses of anti-smog protesters.
Except this one is slightly more affordable than the others as it retailed for upwards of £133,000 originally.
The NSX is afterall a fabulous machine then, and a staple of automotive history.
Thank you Honda.